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Analysis of Michael Jackson child molestation trial developments

Aired March 2, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, day three. The prosecution gets the 1993 molestation allegations against Jackson mentioned before the jury and tries to damage the singer with a witness once hired by Jackson for damage control.
We'll get all the latest from reporters inside court today. Diane Dimond of Court TV, covering Jackson's legal woes since back in 1993. Jane Velez-Mitchell of "Celebrity Justice" and CNN's own Ted Rowlands, plus Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor, now hosting her own show on CNN's Headline News, and Michael Cardoza, the high-profile defense attorney and former prosecutor. And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

I'm going to break rules a little here. Before we get into the Jackson trial, I want to ask our two attorneys their thoughts on the big story of the day. Let's start with Nancy. What did you make of the Supreme Court decision that juveniles cannot be given capital punishment?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV, HEADLINE NEWS: Well, Larry, as you know, I am pro giving juries the choice for the death penalty, but I don't have any problem with an 18-year-old cut-off. I think it's appropriate.

KING: And Michael Cardoza, what do you think?

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I agree with Nancy, 18, a good place to cut it off. But the thing that worries me, Larry, is you get some of these gangs, I know some of the Asian gangs, they'll import somebody from the Far East, bring them in that's 16, so if they get caught, they don't get the death penalty. That's one of the down sides to it. But on the whole, I agree with it. I'd like to see it lightened up a little bit to really give -- if you have a child -- not a child, more of an adult-type juvenile, it may be appropriate in some cases. So I have some difficulty with it, but not a lot.

KING: All right, let's run down. Ted Rowlands, what happened today in court?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a former PR employee of Michael Jackson's, Ann Kite, spent the entire day, for the most part, on the stand today, the entire day except for the last 20 minutes, which was a bit of surprise to courtroom observers who didn't think it would take that long. She spent most of her time answering questions from Tom Mesereau, Jackson's attorney. For the prosecution, she was able to establish that in her short time as PR representative for Jackson, she had a bad feeling at one point, when she got a call from a Jackson employee saying that the family had left Neverland, referring to the victim's family in this case. And she said that she thought maybe they had been kidnapped or something to that effect. She also said that later, when the family returned to Neverland, she got another call, a relief- type call, saying, Everything is fine, we've dealt with it, they're back.

And then she went on to say that at one point, somebody told her, It's OK, we have the mother on tape, and we're going to make her look like a, quote, "crack whore." So that was damaging in part to the defense, one would think, as they try to prove this allegation that the victim's family was imprisoned during a certain period of time at Neverland ranch.

But on the other hand, during the cross-examination, Tom Mesereau was able to establish she never met Michael Jackson, she never talked to Michael Jackson, she never actually met a lot of the associates of Jackson that she was working with. And as she continued to talk, she continued to testify that she thought that Michael Jackson himself was a victim of the people around him, which the defense is trying to prove, saying that one individual, Connatser (ph), extorted $980,000 from her. And other people, she thought, were trying to bring Michael Jackson down for their own profit. So in the end, really tough to tell who gained by this witness.

KING: Diane, who do you think gained, or was it a wash?

DIANE DIMOND, COURT TV: Well, I think that Tom Mesereau started off really strong with her and almost tried to take the state witness and turn her into a defense witness. And he made some very strong points, that it was all -- this was his point, that all these people around Michael Jackson, some of the unindicted co-conspirators, Mark Geragos, his own attorney, his brother, Jermaine, people like that -- they were the ones doing the manipulating and the conspiring, but not Michael Jackson. So that was good.

But the "crack whore" statement and the statement about this one employee calling up and saying, Gee, the family has left the ranch, he was very agitated, and then later, when he called her back, he said, Oh, we don't need to worry anymore, the situation has been contained. And she said, To me, it sounded like they were hunting down these people like animals to bring them back.

So I think if I had to choose, I think the jury's going to remember the "Crack Whore" type statements.

KING: Jane, what do you think, before we ask our attorneys? Jane, what do you think?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well, I think that Tom Mesereau delivered an amazing opening statement, and the prosecution was still reeling from that this morning when they walked in, and they seemed a little dejected. So I think this feisty lady coming in and making those statements was a much-needed boost for the prosecution, helped them regain their momentum, because this is their case in chief. And it had seemed like Mesereau was sort of walking all over them. So the fact that this lady stuck to her guns despite, intense cross-examination by Tom Mesereau, and really stood up to him, I think gave the prosecution a moral boost.

KING: Nancy Grace...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Larry, could I add one more thing?

KING: Yes, quickly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Larry, could I add one more thing? You know -- very important. This witness put Michael Jackson on the telephone with an attorney, David Legrande (ph), who is also accused of helping to conspire to hold the family. That's very important. That puts Michael Jackson right in it.

KING: Nancy?

GRACE: You know, Larry, they've got a big problem. If it comes out in the second witness that the defense was trying to make the boy's mother look like a crack whore, OK -- you know what the big problem is? Because when they try to discredit her on the stand, the jury is going to remember these words. And they'll think the defense will do anything to make the mom look bad, whether it's true or not.

KING: And Michael Cardoza, your opinion of this witness?

CARDOZA: Well, I'll tell you, Nancy's right in part. And I'll agree with you in part, Nancy, that, you know, that statement could hurt them. But remember, Jay Leno is on the list of witnesses here, and his testimony I think is going to be devastating and it is really going to help Michael Jackson because he was shaken down by this victim and his mother, apparently, according to Leno, who called the Santa Barbara authorities and said, You ought to pay attention to these people, they're trying to defraud money out of me. And this is before they get involved with Jackson. So you know, if the jury believes that, I don't care if they said they're going to make her look like a crack whore.

KING: But Nancy, what do either of these matter? If the woman testifying against Jackson never met or spoke to Jackson, and if Jay Leno brings harmful testimony to the mother, that has nothing do with whether the child was molested.

GRACE: You're darn right.

KING: So far, both of these things have nothing to do directly with the case at hand.

CARDOZA: No, that's not true.

GRACE: Well, as far as the molestation goes, you're right, Larry. This has nothing to do with the molestation. But there are other counts the defense has to be worried about. For one thing, allegedly holding this family hostage, for feeding the boy wine. There's a lot of other counts, in addition to molestation.

But as far as Jay Leno's testimony, Michael Cardoza, don't count your chickens before they hatch. Let's see what Leno really says on the stand.

KING: And also, in fairness to the audience...


KING: And also, Nancy, in fairness to the audience, these are all charges that are made.


KING: They have not been proven in court. They have not been cross-examined, and in some cases, might not be admitted. Michael Cardoza, what's the relationship of -- supposing the mother's terrible. What does that have to do if the boy was molested or not?

CARDOZA: Well, I'll tell you, what the defense is trying to show is that the mother's behind this. What Leno will testify to is that the mother was coaching the little boy. He could hear the mother on the phone, coaching the alleged victim in this case. And if she coached him in that case...


CARDOZA: ... what makes them think that she wasn't coaching...

DIMOND: ... Tom Mesereau. This is not according to Jay Leno.

CARDOZA: Well, that's what he said they're going to prove. And I can only do that. That's no different than...


DIMOND: Jay Leno did not call the police, the police called Jay Leno.

KING: Well, then, technically, Diane, nothing has been introduced yet, right?

CARDOZA: That's right.

DIMOND: Absolutely. Well, we've had a couple of...

KING: So everything you're saying...


KING: Yes, but you've had charges and speculations, no -- OK.

We'll take a break, and we'll be back with more. We'll get into this British interviewer and his relationship and all this, and where that's going. Your calls at the bottom of the hour. Don't go away.


MARTIN BASHIR, BBC: When you actually invite children into your bed, you never know what's going to happen.

MICHAEL JACKSON: But when you say "bed," you're thinking sexual. They make that sexual. It's not sexual.

BASHIR: But...

JACKSON: We're going to sleep. I tuck them in. We put -- I put a little, like, music on, and do a little storytime. I read a book. It's a very sweet -- put the fireplace on, give them hot milk. You know, we have little cookies. It's very charming, very sweet.



KING: We went out with a clip from that ABC documentary. I'll show you another one, and we'll talk about it in a minute, the ABC version of the BBC documentary made by Martin Bashir, showing Michael Jackson. Of course, in an hour documentary, covered a lot of areas. We'll ask the panel about it. Here's another portion.


BASHIR: Is that really appropriate for a man, a grown man, to be doing that?

JACKSON: Well...

BASHIR: How do you respond to that?

JACKSON: I feel sorry for them because that's judging someone who wants to really help people. Why can't you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone.


KING: All right, Ted Rowlands, how did all that come out?

ROWLANDS: Well, they played the entire documentary in front of the jury. They did ask Bashir some questions, but nothing really came out of that because he invoked the California shield law and didn't answer a lot of questions. But the bottom line is, the jury got to see what everybody had seen before. I'm sure many of these jurors had seen it before in its entirety. And I think by all accounts, this wasn't very flattering for Michael Jackson. And that's what sent the Jackson camp into a turmoil when it was discovered -- when they realized that Bashir was butting this type of documentary together. So what effect it'll have on the jury, it's tough to tell because you have to assume they all, or if not all, most of them, had already been exposed to this before. KING: Jane Velez-Mitchell, you're a correspondent. The shield law is designed to protect you and your sources from revealing your sources. What sources were revealed here? It was an interview with Michael Jackson. Why couldn't he answer any question? Who was he protecting?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they wanted to know, for example, how many total hours he had taped to put together this documentary. It's slightly more than an hour-and-a-half...

KING: What's wrong with -- who's he protecting under the shield law? If he...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the shield law...

KING: Why can't he answer it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The shield law protects journalists in terms of their news gathering and in terms of unpublished information. And if you open that Pandora's box and he says, Oh, yes, I taped 8,000 hours for an hour-and-a-half documentary, that opens the door for Tom Mesereau to come in and say, yes, and you only took the pieces that make Michael Jackson look bad...

KING: Right, but...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and launch a full-scale attack on him. And he feels, as a journalist, that he has the right to gather news without people questioning him about it because then all of our rights to gather news are threatened.

KING: Michael Cardoza, is the California -- the shield law is to protect the person telling someone something, right, and the journalist from revealing it. How does it play here?

CARDOZA: Well, that's the gist of it. I mean, that's the heart and the soul of it. But what they're talking about here are the outtakes, what doesn't go on the air. And the shield law protects that, too. If there's an hour-and-a-half documentary, the other 200 hours don't come in under the shield law. And that's what...

KING: I got it.

CARDOZA: ... the big argument was about. It's simple

KING: How did that testimony come out, in your opinion, Nancy?

GRACE: Well, I think the Bashir documentary hurt Jackson badly. a Larry, 45-year-old man in bed with a 9-year-old boy -- for what? But when Bashir kept taking the 1st, under the shield law, I think that looks bad. Whenever a witness doesn't want to answer the question or hides behind a privilege, it makes the jury think they're hiding something. So I agree with you, I don't think it looked good for Bashir.

CARDOZA: Larry? KING: What -- yes, Michael? Go ahead.

CARDOZA: You know what was interesting about that? We've had much ado about the priors in this case, how -- that Judge Melville will, you know, decide later whether to let the '93, '94 priors in. But right in that documentary, they talk about him settling the case in '93 and '94. So that's put squarely in front of the jury through the documentary. Now, I know that it wasn't put in for the truth of the matter. But trying cases for 30 years, you got to know the jury's thinking about that, even though they're not supposed to consider it for the truth. Those priors are now in front of the jury.

KING: Diane, has the judge made a decision on he being in contempt?

DIMOND: Yes. He was not held in contempt. And that 1993 case that Michael Cardoza's talking about also came up today during Ann Kite Gabriel's (ph) testimony. So the judge hasn't agreed to allow it in yet, but it's gotten in not once but twice.

The Bashir documentary to me was important because this was the jury's very first look at the boy, the young who was accusing Michael Jackson. And here in America, Larry, you know, we sort of disguise their faces, but this documentary was one seen in Britain, and there he was, full of face. His brother, his sister -- they're standing in the kitchen talking to Michael Jackson. For the first time, they got a real feel for who this alleged victim is. I thought it was important.

KING: Ted Rowlands, were you going to say something? I'm sorry.

ROWLANDS: I was just going to mention what Diane did, that the 'a 93 accusations came up in part today, not for the truth of the matter, but mentioned again today turning Kite Gabriel's testimony. And they also technically came up on the jury questionnaire. So one would have to think, if you're a potential juror in case, you're aware of it to some degree. And it just remains to be seen whether Melville will allow it in in its entirety. And if that happens, a lot of people think it'll not only extend this trial but really change the complexity of it because many people think the '93 story is a compelling one.

KING: It might be appealable. We'll get to other areas, then we'll go to your phone calls. We'll show you one more clip from the ABC version of the BBC documentary made by Martin Bashir, Michael Jackson on camera. Watch.


BASHIR: Haven't you got a spare room or a spare house here where he could have stayed?

JACKSON: Yes, but -- no -- yes, we have guest units. But whenever kids come here, they always want to stay with me. They never want to stay in the guest -- and I have never invited them in my room. They always just want to stay. They say, Can I stay with you tonight? I go, If it's OK with your parents, yes, you can.



KING: Before we get back with our panel, let's spend a few moments with Raymone Bain, spokesperson for Michael Jackson. She is at the courthouse in Santa Maria.

Based on what the attorney said, Raymone, is there a strong possibility Michael will take the stand?

RAYMONE BAIN, MICHAEL JACKSON'S SPOKESPERSON: Well, I think, Larry, that it's certainly a possibility. His attorney, Tom Mesereau, has indicated such. And he and Michael are speaking all day, all night, and so for him to have said that, as I've said, you know, publicly yesterday and today, it means that there is a very strong possibility he's discussed it with Michael and they are both in favor of it.

KING: So Michael wants to testify.

BAIN: Well, I think, Larry, he is going to rely on the counsel of his attorneys. And whatever they advise him, I think at the appropriate time, he will listen and he will make a decision based on what the team's decision is.

KING: He left the court today saying he was angry. At what?

BAIN: Well, yesterday, Larry, he indicated he was angry. He's been vilified for an entire year. And you have to understand, I guess, if I were in his position or you, you're sitting in court and you're listening and watching a documentary, you open your life up to someone whom you trusted, give him access for seven years (SIC), which is very rare -- I mean, frankly, if I had been the publicist, that would not have happened because seven months, you open your life up to someone -- and frankly, when you listen or watch that documentary, it's not so much the documentary, it's the commentary. And he was just angry about it. And I mean, you know, he's human, as you and I are. And this has been a rough year for him. And he was very honest when he said he was angry.

KING: They say there are not as many family members in court today. Any reason for that?

BAIN: Well, they all have their schedules, and we're here for the long run, Larry. It's been predicted this is going to be five, six, seven months, maybe eight. And so therefore, they're taking turns, you know? All of his -- they are American legends. They all have their professions. Janet, LaToya, Tito, Marlon -- they're all doing their thing. And they will be in court. I guarantee you, his family members will be there. But because we have such a long way to go, they're just taking turns in coming in.

KING: How's his health? BAIN: He's doing OK. He's not 100 percent, Larry. Yesterday, there were reports that he was crying. He was not. He was sniffing. He still has the sniffles. He was really sick. He's doing much, much better, but he's not fully recovered yet, but he's getting stronger every day.

KING: Thanks, Raymone. Raymone Bain, the spokesperson for Michael Jackson.

Nancy Grace, practically, will he have to testify, or does it depend how the trial goes?

GRACE: Larry, I don't think Michael Jackson is going to take the stand. I don't think he could undergo a cross-examination. I think he would fold up. Look, Bashir's documentary was intended to be complimentary to Michael Jackson, and look what happened. If this guy gets on the stand and he starts being questioned about these other little boys, it will be devastating for the defense!

KING: Michael Cardoza, what do you think?

CARDOZA: I'll tell you what, in opening statement -- and I think Mesereau is an outstanding attorney. But in opening statements, some think that he promised that Jackson would testify. He said, Jackson will tell you this, Michael Jackson will tell you that. I'll tell you, most attorneys don't make that determination until the prosecution's case is completely in. And I've got to think Mesereau is in the same place. That's why I'm wondering why he couched his opening statement that way.

I agree with Nancy, you put Michael Jackson on the stand, talk about the proverbial loose cannon when he gets up there. And believe me, he won't be crossed for a half hour or an hour, it'll be days at a time, to wear him down, to frustrate him and to show that this man may have molested children because of his bizarre behavior. And I think that bizarre behavior will come out.

KING: Jane, is it a thin line because you're dealing with a very popular person? How much do you hammer him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Larry, I have to tell you, I saw Michael Jackson take the stand in his 2002 civil trial, and it was a disaster. That was the time where he did those little horns above his head. And he was behaving quite bizarrely on the stand. Now, I have to say, I think he's a totally different person now. I think he knows he's fighting for his life. He's sharp. He's lucid. He seems to be, anyway. So I think he might fare better on the stand, but I think it's a huge risk. And I'm not a lawyer, but you could open the door to looking at his character.

So much has been said about this mother, this accuser's mother and her lawsuit against J.C. Penney. I've been told that Michael Jackson has had more than 1,000 lawsuits in his life. Now, how come none of this has gotten into court yet? And if he takes the stand, will some of that go into court? There are people lining up with complaints against him that could conceivably end up being part of this case.

KING: Diane Dimond, why is this going to be such a long trial?

DIMOND: I don't think it's going to be, Larry. I think this judge, Judge Melville, just today, when Tom Mesereau went on too long with Ann Gabriel -- Ann Kite Gabriel, he said to him, Mr. Mesereau -- finally, toward the end of the day -- Mr. Mesereau, look over at the jury. You can see that they're bored with this. You've asked the same 10 questions over and over. You need to get a grasp of the evidence, and in effect, get your act together. And after that, he quickly cut off all the questioning, and that was it. But this is the kind of judge we've got. We did jury selection in parts of five or six days, not a month, like we all predicted. We've been predicting five months or six months for this trial. I think it's going to be maybe three.

KING: Ted Rowlands...


KING: What's your read, Ted?

ROWLANDS: Oh, I agree with Diane in that regard, that I think it's going to be a lot shorter than people think because of the way Melville conducts himself. I also think if Jackson takes the stand that he may not be there for days and days because Melville will cut it off at some point, if they continue to re-ask questions. And whether or not Jackson takes the stand, I think one of the major things is going to be whether or not '93 comes in and '94. If those don't come in, then Jackson takes the stand and they might -- and they will come in. So that'll undoubtedly be a factor in it.

But boy, when you were listening to Mesereau's opening statement, it sure made it sound like there's a very good possibility that it'll come in because on two occasions, he said, Michael Jackson will tell you. Of course, someone can tell you things in many different ways, but it sure made it sound like he was making a promise to the jury that Michael Jackson will be heard in one form or another.

KING: Nancy Grace, I thought a prior record can't come in unless a defendant takes the stand, and then you can ask him about anything?

GRACE: Unless, Larry, they come in -- that's right, unless they come in as what I call similar transactions. And in this case, what that goes to prove is motive, intent, identity, course of conduct, scheme. In other words, Larry, are there other similar transactions, fingerprint crimes that tend to prove this case? And I'm referring specifically to the other two boy accusers.

KING: Yes, but if you're charged with robbing a store...


KING: ... and in the past have been convicted of robbing a store...

GRACE: Right.

KING: ... and you don't take the stand, that can't come in.

GRACE: Yes, it can come in.

KING: Because that would prejudice the jury.


DIMOND: ... child abuse cases, Larry.

GRACE: It can come in, Larry.


DIMOND: ... child abuses here in the state of California. There's a law here now that says for sexual predators...

CARDOZA: That's right.

DIMOND: ... and I'm not saying Michael Jackson is one -- sexual predators, their past can come in. It's a new law that was passed in the mid-'90s after the '93 case. And this judge has indicated past bad acts evidence is coming in.

KING: I see.

DIMOND: He has said this from the bench. It's clear what the state says. It's how much of it he's going to allow in.

KING: Michael, you can bring up a prior robbery...

CARDOZA: Well, Larry, Nancy...

KING: ... a conviction of a person who doesn't take the stand?

CARDOZA: You can, in certain situations. As Nancy talked about, the motive opportunity, intent. But that law -- that law doesn't apply here. As Diane said, in California, we've new law. Doesn't even have to be a conviction. If there are prior allegations...

GRACE: Right.

CARDOZA: ... of sexual conduct, that can come in...

KING: Just allegations?

CARDOZA: ... if the judge lets it in.

GRACE: It will come in.

CARDOZA: Just allegations, just allegations come flying in because of sex cases.

GRACE: Right.

KING: Let's take a break. We'll reintroduce the panel and go to your phone calls. Don't go away.


JACKSON: Years ago, I allowed a family to visit and spend some time at Neverland. Neverland is my home. I allowed the family into my home because they told me their son was ill with cancer and need my help. Through the years, I have helped thousands of children who were ill or in distress. These events caused a nightmare for my family, my children and me.



KING: We're back. Let's reintroduce the panel. At the Santa Maria courthouse is Diane Dimond, executive investigative editor of Court TV. Has been covering the Jackson story since 1993.

In New York, Nancy Grace, the host of "NANCY GRACE" every night on CNN Headline News. Court TV anchor as well, former prosecutor and a book coming out soon titled "Objection."

At the courthouse Jane Velez-Mitchell, correspondent for "Celebrity Justice."

At the courthouse, is CNN correspondent, Ted Rowlands.

And in San Francisco is Michael Cardoza, defense attorney, former Alameda County prosecutor, was in court for the opening statements and the start of the prosecution's presentation.

Let's go to some calls. Vancouver, British Columbia. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hello, Larry. I love your show, watch it every night.

KING: Hi, thank you.

CALLER: I have a question for the panel...

KING: Yes.

CALLER: ... maybe, Michael Cardoza. If this -- if Michael Jackson is found guilty, I'm not saying he is, in fact, I think he's innocent, will the mother be charged with endangering her child and putting him in such a precarious situation? I'm speaking as mother. And I find it really difficult to believe that any mother with her head in the right place would put her child in such a situation.

KING: OK, good question. If he's guilty, is she guilty, Michael?

CARDOZA: Well, I'll tell you what, I walked out yesterday, when I walked out of court in talking to some of the cameras. I said, you know, if you believe half of what Mesereau said in the opening statement, the district attorney's office should look very closely at this mother, and consider prosecuting her for the things that she did in this case. You're preaching to the choir on that one. I couldn't agree more.

KING: Nancy, how dangerous is the alcohol charge? Is it the same as if a bartender served youth or a storekeeper sold beer to a 16-year-old?

GRACE: Pretty much. I mean, it calls for jail time.

KING: It does.

GRACE: And also to the caller's question. I think that's a very thin line, Larry. Because I think it's easier for a lot of people to attack the mother than to believe Michael Jackson, somebody we all have loved for so long could do such a thing. So everybody focuses on the mother.

CARDOZA: No, no, Nancy. The mother could put those children in a position and be guilty of certain crimes...

GRACE: What position, you said he was innocent.

CARDOZA: Let me finish. If he's even found guilty, it doesn't mean the mother's not guilty of something.

KING: The question was predicated on if he's found guilty.

CARDOZA: Even if he's found not guilty. Yes, I know, if he's found guilty, she still could be guilty of certain crimes for what she did in this case, if it's true. And I certainly don't nope percent.

KING: Plano, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: This call -- question is for Nancy Grace. You've made it very clear you believe a teenager could commit a cold-blooded murder. Why are you having such a hard time that these children are willing to lie, especially if put up to it by parents that are looking for money?

GRACE: Well, I've said very plainly that I want to hear the cross-examination of this boy. Because if this mother has put this boy up to lying, then she should go to jail. However, I find it very hard to believe, ma'am, that three boys, separated in time and space, all make up the same story about Michael Jackson. And he admits to having 9-year-old boys in his bed. He's a 45-year-old man.

KING: But Nancy -- Nancy, we had many boys and girls in the McMartin case, all were wrong.

GRACE: That's very true. And you know what, Larry, if this boy has been coached and this is a lie, then the mother should be put in jail. But I just -- I find it hard to believe all these boys are lying. And stewardess who claim they saw Jackson giving the boy wine, that they're lying, too. Is everybody lying?

KING: Does he appear, Diane, to be in big, big trouble here, in your opinion as a court observer, with no predictions of an outcome?

DIMOND: I have no predictions of an outcome. I would say Michael Jackson is in the worst predicament of his life. We've already seen some damaging stuff here. I think you're going to see a whole truckload more.

KING: Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to tell you he's certainly in a big predicament, but he has a very good attorney, Tom Mesereau, who only has to create reasonable doubt in the minds of these jurors. And he's doing that on every front. He's attacking the mother's credibility. He's painting these kids as out of control kids, who broke into the wine and alcohol closets and were found drinking wine allegedly. Who broke in allegedly to the porn stash and got their hands on the porn. So he's explaining away or attempting to explain away the entire case. If he does it to the point of reasonable doubt, then Michael Jackson walks.

KING: And Ted, this is automatic jail time, right?

ROWLANDS: Oh, sure, if he's found guilty on all the charges that he's facing, he'll spend considerable amount of time in jail. But you know, if Tom Mesereau can deliver on half of what he promised in opening statements this is going to be a tough case for the prosecution. It's going to come down this young man an this young man's brother. If the jury thinks for a second that they are lying, or that they have been coached by this mother, because I think it will be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that this mother is a bit off, and that's being generous. Even the prosecution told jurors this mother made some decisions that you and I would not have made. With her aside, I think if this jury smells either one of these children are lying, Michael Jackson walks, no problem because of the mother.

KING: So, you're saying, in essence, it always comes down to the cross-examination of the kids?

ROWLANDS: I believe so. And their direct testimony and how believable will they be? How detailed will it be? I think the whole case comes down to that.

KING: Grand Island, Nebraska, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: My question is for Nancy Grace.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Although Michael Jackson's on trial here, why are people putting down the mother. And I grew up with the Jackson Five. And Nancy, I think you're great, you're awesome. Hang in there, girl.

KING: Why are they attacking the mother is the question?

GRACE: You know, Larry, I've looked at this phenomenon ever since I was prosecutor in Atlanta. And one of the most common defenses, Larry, we see in rape cases and especially sex cases, if you don't have anybody to blame, if you have nobody to point the finger at, you blame the victim. In this case, the victim is a little boy who's dying of cancer, OK. Or who had cancer. I understand he's in remission. So, it's kind of hard to blame him. So, who else can Michael Jackson blame? Lets think about it. So the defense camp is blaming the mother. Why, she's got a past.

KING: That doesn't mean in all defense cases they're wrong when they do that?

GRACE: Oh, absolutely not.

KING: You're implying they have to find someone else.

GRACE: Well, Larry, I'll be blunt, I think most of the time they are wrong. But I think it's very handy defense. And Here they've got a mother who's tried to get money out of other people.

CARDOZA: There you go again, Nancy.

GRACE: There you go.

KING: But the question is when are those times? Lets, say most of the times they're wrong, most of the time when they use a ploy. Suppose it's 8 out of 10. How about the two when they're not.

GRACE: I do not believe -- I do not believe, Larry, that most victims are lying. And that they will come into court and commit perjury. Take a look who has something to lose in the case. The person with the most to lose here is Michael Jackson.

KING: You want to comment, Michael Cardoza before I take next call.

CARDOZA: Well, I'll tell you what, you called the case before, the McMartin case, Nancy would probably say at the beginning of that case same thing. Nancy.

GRACE: No. I had no comment on McMartin.

CARDOZA: Nancy, in this case the mother is what she is. She's committed welfare fraud. She allegedly admitted lying about the civil suit. What's the defense supposed to walk away from that?

DIMOND: Now, there you go again.

There you go again stating as fact what Tom Mesereau said in his opening statement. You're an attorney, you should know better than that. These things have not been proven in court yet.


CARDOZA: And also admitted that she committed welfare fraud.

ROWLANDS: Stop it. It's already admitted.

KING: One at a time, folks. I think the audience should understand.


KING: Wait a minute. Hold it, hold it, hold it. Hold everyone.

GRACE: This mother has some problems.

KING: Before anything else is said, nothing has been proved. Nothing has been proved. The only thing is evidence that comes in.

So, anything the defense says, anything the prosecution says is all a charge or a conjecture. Nothing has been proved.

CARDOZA: True. True.

KING: We'll be right back with more.

There has been a lot of things. Nothing. Jay Leno haven't testified to my knowledge.


MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable a position ever again. I love my community and I have great faith in our justice system. Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court.

I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told. Thank you.



KING: We're back. Elk Grove, California. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Larry. I love your show. I think you're great. I just want to say, I have been a fan of Michael Jackson's for 35 years now. And I will admit he's done some rather odd things. However, how can your panel seem to be so clear about his guilt or innocence when they haven't heard all the evidence. And another thing is aren't they representing the United States of America judicial system?

KING: Yes, Diane, isn't everyone innocent until proven guilty? And isn't all of this conjecture?

DIMOND: Absolutely. I try stress that over and over again. Also, if this child is lying, if his mother got him to lie, either way, he's been abused by somebody. That's the saddest part to me.

But the caller is absolutely right. I'm glad she take makes the point. That's what I was trying to say to Michael Cardoza and others out there. Don't state as fact what you hear in a court of law. That's why we have a trial. Because everybody is innocent and it's not up to us, it's up to the 12 people in that box that we look at everyday.

KING: Nancy, will you concur?

GRACE: I do. And Larry, I'm especially concerned about this case. I have got two main concerns. No. 1, that Jackson has become a target because of his money. That's a possibility. No. 2, that he molests children. Those are the two possibilities.

Now, we see that there are other accusers that say the same thing this boy says. To me, that lends credibility to him. On the other hand, we know the mom has had some scams in the past, where she tried to get money. But that doesn't mean that the molestation didn't happen.

KING: But the essence of it is we don't know?

GRACE: Not yet. I got hear that cross. I got to hear that cross.

KING: El Cajon, California. Hello.

CALLER: Did you say El Cajon, it's hard to hear you.

KING: Yeah, it's El Cajon, go ahead.

CALLER: Love your show, Larry, especially this panel, since I've made my living as a legal secretary for 35 years and I still sing.

OK, I'm sorry.

I want to know, if guilty or not guilty, does the judge have any legal precedence to put this ban (ph) boy in therapy? He needs it desperately no matter the outcome of the trial.

DIMOND: Oh, he is an therapy.

KING: Michael -- he's in therapy, isn't he? Michael, could the judge order therapy for the boy?

CARDOZA: No, he has no jurisdiction over the victim in this case to do anything like that at all. He has jurisdiction over Michael Jackson to sentence him, but the boy's not in front of him.

KING: So -- I couldn't understand, she was asking about Jackson, does the judge have the authority to put Jackson.

I thought she said the child. I'm pretty sure she said the child but I'm corrected.

CARDOZA: If she said Michael Jackson. If -- I'm sorry --

KING: Go ahead, Michael.

CARDOZA: What he can do, if he's convicted, yes, he could put him in therapy. But I the therapy will probably be 20 or 30 years of state prison, and whatever therapy's afford him there.

There are cases where people are convicted where the judge can make that part of probation should they give probation, but this is not a probation case.

KING: Wichita, Kansas.

DIMOND: Larry, in the 1993 settlement -- could I just say in the 1993 settlement with the young boy, my sources, very good sources tell me that was part of the agreement, that Michael Jackson go and get some therapy. I don't have any indication whether he did or didn't. But someone else has thought of that before.

KING: Wichita, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Your speech is not -- I'm not hearing myself.

KING: Go ahead. You don't have to. Just ask the question.


I have a question as to Michael Jackson, the clip that you showed, has been shown many, many times. He knows that the children are going to want to stay in his bedroom. Why doesn't he get a roll away bed, or something? Surely, he can afford it if we can afford it in Kansas when we have company.

KING: You're asking a question that I guess only he could answer. The panel can't.

Someone want to say something?

ROWLANDS: I think it should be pointed out.

KING: Ted. Go ahead.

ROWLANDS: His bedroom, Larry -- Michael Jackson's bedroom isn't your average small little bedroom with a bed in it. This is a two story monstrosity and There's plenty of room, technically, for people to be sleeping in different areas of that room. It's not as if there would be nowhere else to sleep and Jackson has said he slept on the floor. His bedroom isn't like most people's bedrooms.

KING: The defense has to admit that their client is a little weird.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He is. He could have avoided a lot of this if he had simply listened to public opinion and when this outrage occurred after the Bashir documentary, he could have said it is a bad idea to combine this semi-public place Neverland with my private life and I'm going to draw a line between the two.

And there's something intrinsically wrong with that. If you have groups of kids coming over and doing all this good work, keep it separate from your personal quarters. If he had just made that change, he might have avoided all this. And certainly, there are many opportunities he's had to back off of this belief that it's the most wonderful thing in the world to share your bed.

KING: Nancy, is that you?

GRACE: Yeah. I just wanted to say I'm so glad the caller called in about the roll away bed. Because I thought I was the only one on the panel tonight that thinks it's inappropriate for a 45-year-old man to sleep with a 9-year-old.

And I also want to point out -- I also want to point out that in the '93 accusers case, he could identify and describe Jackson's penis. There's no innocent explanation for that.

KING: But 9-year-old can -- your uncle comes over and your 9- year-old sleeps with his uncle, there's nothing wrong with that.

GRACE: His uncle. His uncle, sure, this isn't his uncle.

KING: OK, we'll be back with our remaining moments, in it some more phone calls don't go away.


JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Michael is a wonderful person who loves children. And they found the very thing to bring him down, the very thing that he loves is children and family. And I don't know any other person who all my life, who is just so genuine and so nice and so caring. And sometimes, he's naive, but he's totally innocent.




MARK GERAGOS, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FORMER ATTORNEY: Take a look at the criminal complaint. The criminal complaint alleges February 7 to March 10th. Well, guess what happened on February 7, that has the day after the Bashir documentary aired. February 6...

KING: The Bashir documentary is the one from Britain.

GERAGOS: From the U.K., that airs in America on February 6. February 7, the D.A. is now alleging the molestation occurred. It's a joke. It's nothing but -- this case revolves around nothing but a financial motive, a shakedown, if you will. And it's a perfect, as I said earlier today, the perfect intersection between a financial motive and greed, and revenge.


KING: Mark Geragos was then the attorney for Mr. Jackson, he no longer is. He was mentioned in court today, though, in the cross- examination of Ann Gabriel. She testified that Geragos asked her not to appear on "Access Hollywood" after he asked her to appear.

San Antonio, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.


CALLER: I love your show and I love your kids. They're beautiful.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: The call for Nancy is -- do you think -- I heard on the radio today Michael had lost a case because he got on the stand. A business case, he lost $5 million because he was whatever. Do you think Michael Jackson taking the stand is going to help him or hurt him?

GRACE: Well, if you don't know a horse, look at his track record. Jackson folded on the stand on cross-examination in the lawsuit you're talking about. And as a test run, I would say Mesereau, don't put him on the stand, you're right.

KING: That was case involving, I think, a German Promoter?

GRACE: Right. A whole bunch of money.

KING: Appearance fees he missed or something.

Norfolk, Virginia. Hello.

CALLER: I will ask a question. Hello.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: OK, my question is for Nancy and Diane. When Michael Jackson is found innocent -- when he's found innocent, are (OFF-MIKE) going to get a life and leave Michael Jackson alone...

KING: Diane, do you think if he's found innocent.

GRACE: Was that for me, Larry?

KING: I guess, either of you, I couldn't understand him.


KING: The gist of it was, if he's found innocent, will we leave him alone?

DIMOND: I think the question was will I leave him alone, since I've been covering him since 1993.

KING: You're attached at the hip.

DIMOND: I have covered the White House and United States Congress and stories about homeless people and military stories and Pentagon. My life does not revolve around Michael Jackson, usually. Right now, it does. But I'm a reporter doing my job, and I'm proud of what I do. After Michael Jackson is adjudicated here, I hope to be able to leave this story alone.

KING: Jane, is it hard to be objective?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it is. But I haven't made up my mind on this story. I listened to one witness, I say, "wow, that makes a lot of sense." I listen to the next, I say, "wow, that makes a lot of sense." I go back and forth. I think the jurors are probably going back and forth. I think, all of this is going to hinge on whether the '93, the past accusations get in and whether Tom Mesereau raises enough doubts about this mother and this family, by painting them as somebody who was looking for a mark, and the mark was Michael Jackson. All he has to do is put that seed of doubt and maintain that in the jurors' minds and he may well succeed. The prosecution has to bat 1, 000. And right now, I don't think they are batting a thousand.

KING: We're out of time. We thank the panel very much. And we certainly have not heard the last of this. And I'll be back and tell you about a great show we have coming up tomorrow too. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night, the very funny Kristie Alley will be our special guest. You will want to tune in for that. You always want to tune in for "NEWSNIGHT." I know it, why, because you're waiting for him. You can't wait. You know that momentary he will be there, and I'll snap my fingers and he'll be there.


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